Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia says government will revive technical schools and strengthen engineering faculties in the State’s higher learning institutions.
Ikpeazu stated this when he visited Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the plan was to ensure the development of skilled manpower-base for the state, adding, “Aba is an industrial hub that needs skilled manpower.’’
According to him, the government has been turning around the technical secondary schools in the state starting with one school in each local government area.
“Abia is good at handcraft and small and medium enterprises and we want to impact skills starting from the primary schools.
“I will strengthen the faculties of engineering in the higher institutions we have; at the lowest level, I want every primary school pupil in Abia to be able to write their names in a computer.
“My focus is to develop those who are technically minded in Abia to make sure we have middle cadre manpower that can support our desire to pursue and mainstream mechanisation of production.
“Talk about garments; talk about shoes; talk about things we do. We think it is critical for us to talk about providing the manpower that will drive this initiative’’, he said.
Ikpeazu said his plan was that at the point of exit from secondary schools, students should have enough skills to man and maintain the tools/equipment for production.
He said the government had created a programme tagged Education for Employment with a view to producing students who had what the labour market needed.
The governor said his government had also conceptualised industrial cluster at Aba to drive the growth of small and medium enterprises.
The governor commended the NUC boss for expanding access to university education in Nigeria and for the innovations he brought to the tertiary education sub-sector.
In his response, Okojie lauded the governor for bringing in his expertise as an academic to bear in governance in Abia.
He said no country could develop without laying emphasis on technical education, adding that Aba, as a manufacturing hub needed a lot skilled workforce.
The NUC scribe decried undue interference of governors in the governing council of universities and implored them to ensure that there is stability in their respective state universities.